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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 11907
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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My estranged husband and I were married in Texas in December

Customer Question

My estranged husband and I were married in Texas in December 2004. We lived together for only the first nine months of our marriage and separated informally and have lived separately since September 2005. We have one child together who he fails to pay court ordered child support for. Since our separation he has moved to Arizona, where in Arizona, I don't know? He refuses to give me a legitimate address for me to send divorce papers to. I contacted immigration since I filed on his behalf and requested his address and they refused to give it to me even though I am his sponsor. He has already been granted permanent residency. Is there any legal stance I have as his wife and residency sponsor to obtain his physical address for divorce proceedings? Even the child support division stated that they could not give me his last known address.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

Short of suing for divorce or something else, and getting a court ordered subpoena directing him or the AG's child support office to give you his last known address, no, there's nothing you can do outside of court, yet mandated legally, to get that (such as fill out a form, etc...) You could hire a private investigator to find this information, or you could continue to search on your own. There are a number of sites that follow information, although they may or may not actually be correct.

ScottyMacEsq :

But to be sure of his last known address, etc... and get either him or the child support division to give it to you, you would need a subpoena, and for that, you would need to file a lawsuit or a contempt action first. A subpoena is a tangential document. You could also request this information (again, as part of a lawsuit) in a "request for disclosure" or "interrogatories". This is a document that asks that he give you his last known address, etc... But that assumes that he answers the lawsuit in the first place. Discovery does not happen until he "shows up" by filing a formal answer to the lawsuit. If he does not do that, you would need to bring in the child support division and seek a subpoena of the address from them, through the court.

ScottyMacEsq :

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

If he doesn't want me to have his address do I have to deliver a divorce via mail or can I meet him in a public place and have him sign the papers?

ScottyMacEsq :

Apologies for the delay, I had left the office when you had responded 11 hours after my answer...

ScottyMacEsq :

That is certainly an option. It does not have to be sent to his address.

ScottyMacEsq :

Rather, he merely needs to be "served" with process, and if he voluntarily shows up or signs something, then that would suffice.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

Sorry for the delay Scott. I definitely will rate you for you to get credit, but when you say "served with process", does that mean that someone other than me has to serve him? Do we need a witness to him being served?

ScottyMacEsq :

Yes, that would mean a "non party" to the action. That is, someone other than you. Generally it's a process server or local constable, etc... but he can "waive" service by "appearing" to the lawsuit. As part of the lawsuit, you can get a "citation", which you can either request service from the clerk (inside of Texas) or use with a private service of process company (in other states). When they serve him, they will indicate when and how, and certify this. You would file that with the clerk showing that he was served.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

Customer:

I guess that does answer my question but not the way I was getting at. The original problem was lack of address, so I asked if he can be given the papers in person and just have him sign them and you said yes, he can be "served", in order to be served you need an address to serve them to. My question, can "I" or him and I meet in a public place, sign the divorce papers and turn them into the courts if it is a no contest divorce and do we need to appear in court?

ScottyMacEsq :

Absolutely you can do that. If he signs the paper, then he "appears" in court (meaning that service of process is not needed).

ScottyMacEsq :

If everything is agreed to, you might not have to appear.

ScottyMacEsq :

Ultimately it's up to the judge.

ScottyMacEsq :

But often when a divorce is uncontested, and the property division appears fair to both parties and that no one is taking advantage of the other, the court can sign off on a divorce without the need for a hearing.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

ok, one more question. What if everything is agreed to, no contest, no division of property because there is none, custody already determined by child support division and we are still scheduled to appear. Since he does live in an another state, I doubt he will come back to Texas for the court date, if he fails to appear can the court still finalize the divorce if all is fair and no one is being taking advantage of?

ScottyMacEsq :

Absolutely. If he has notice of the hearing, and fails to show because he's in another state, so long as you show the court will still grant it.

ScottyMacEsq :

The court would only not grant it if neither showed up for the hearing.

Customer:

If we are scheduled, and let's say I met him in the Arizona Airport to sign the papers and then he doesn't show, how do I show proof of notice given with no address on file?

ScottyMacEsq :

If he does not sign the papers, then there's no appearance. You would need to serve him by "alternative service". Generally that means first getting permission from the court to do so (in a motion for alternative service), then posting a notice in a newspaper of general circulation where he is known to live or last known address. Then you would need to file this with the court.

ScottyMacEsq :

It does become more difficult if he does not actually sign the paper, because then it's not an "uncontested" case where he appears.

ScottyMacEsq :

You would still need to serve him with service of process in that matter.

ScottyMacEsq :

And if you don't have an address, that means that you would need to do it through the alternative service method of publication.

Customer:

What I am trying to say, if he signs the papers, but I don't have an address for him, and the court needs to send out a notice to appear after the signed papers have been filed, what needs to be done?

ScottyMacEsq :

I guess this is the third last question... if you can show that you forwarded this notice to him so that he would have actual notice to appear (through an email, text, etc...) then that should suffice. Since it's his actions that are limiting disclosure of his address, he would not have the ability to complain about it at a later time.

ScottyMacEsq :

(in your last question about meeting in the airport, when you would bring the papers for him to sign, and if he didn't show, that would mean that he didn't sign the papers, so that would be a different outcome than if he did sign the papers)

Customer:

right, I met if he didn't show for court, but thank you for your excellent service and I will now rate you accordingly!

ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 11907
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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